Rigby Suite at Royal Preston Hospital. @LancashireCare

Young people who come in to contact with the police and are suffering with mental health difficulties will now receive support through a new facility providing a place of safety in the area.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has opened a new facility which will provide a place of safety at Royal Preston Hospital in Central Lancashire. The facility will support young people under the age of 19 who come in to contact with the police and are experiencing mental ill health.

The Rigby Suite is a 24 hour facility that provides place of safety and de-escalation for young people for a period up to 72 hours. The unit will allow staff to conduct a full assessment of any mental health needs and will support signposting on to appropriate services following the assessment including an inpatient admission or community mental health services where required. The Trust has worked in collaboration with service users to choose the name and influence the colour schemes and furniture.

The Rigby Suite will have access to a variety of different professionals including Approved Mental Health Professionals, Clinicians and the Police.

Bev Liddle, Service Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Arkwright Crisis Support Unit and Rigby Suite said:

We are really excited to have opened this brand new facility in Central Lancashire and to be working in partnership with Lancashire Police. There is an increasing demand on mental health services across Lancashire and as part of this we have been working hard to determine what services are needed to ensure that people’s mental health needs are met, especially in times of crisis or high distress.

“The suite will support young people under the age of 19 and has been designed to provide a place of safety whilst potential mental health needs are assessed under the Mental Health Act.

“The unit will allow our staff to constantly assess and support the service user. The Trust already provides a 136 suite at The Harbour in Blackpool which has proved a great success in supporting people’s mental health.”

For more information or to find out more about Section 136 of the Mental Health Act please visit

www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Section-136.